Leadership Development · Leadership Education · Leadership Training

Theory Application/LDR 200L Review

With my leadership cohort, we took together LDR200L on Wednesday nights with our Professor, Jesi Ekonnen along with three amazing TA’s: Garrett Ritterhaus, Kate Odykirk, and my G, Jordan Salerno. LDR200L was very eye-opening. I was given so many great opportunities with facilitation, theory research, and just getting to know my cohort on a closer level. We discussed many different leadership theories, applying them in the real world, and on top of that, we got to create our own leadership philosophy.

One thing I am so happy to take away from this class was the skill of facilitation. I never really have facilitated an activity before this class, and I feel as if I gained confidence talking and using a leading role in an activity initiative.

Facilitation is so important when it comes to different activities. It sets the mood and teaches us how to effectively give direction and help people throughout course activities. This is very important, mainly when you are working with a team who wants to achieve goals and working hard in solving problems. Within my LAS cohort, we all know we have different leadership styles and skills, but improving them and working to help give others ideas and facilitate positively, will only be great encouragement for our future endeavors. The cool thing about learning how to facilitate is that it challenges you to think from different points of view, coming in with an open-mind, making the activity experience for others, a good one.

In our LDR200L class, we learned about dealing with silence or uncomfortable situations you are likely to be in when facilitating and asking questions/debriefing an activity. A facilitators job is to spark in conversation, asking questions and letting the participants grow deeper in conversation on their own level. While facilitating and debriefing, it is ideal to recognize that all people are different and take things in different ways, so it is very important to be respectful, having an open-mind. The goal of facilitated activities is just to learn or take away even just one small thing from it.

From my LDR200L class, I have observed many things. I have watched people gain knowledge from one another, and how to apply leadership in every day life. Active leadership was one of my favorite theories learned. I have taken away from this presented workshop theory. I was not always an active leader but facilitation came into this theory for me. About a month ago, I went on a sisterhood retreat with my sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, and as the Leadership Development Chair, I had the opportunity to come up with an activity and facilitate it for my whole chapter. I ended up doing one of my favorite activities called, Cross the line. This is a very serious activity and is supposed to be completely silent. I ask very personal questions and if the people behind the line agree with my statement or if it has happened to them, they were asked to cross the line. I had to take charge, quite people down saying, “this is a serious activity”, making it a big deal. Once the activity was over, I debriefed it briefly and everyone said how much of an impact it had on them. Also, a visitor from our headquarters came up to me afterward and said to me, “this is one of my favorite activities and you by far presented this better than other other person I have seen do it, great job.” I felt so proud of myself knowing that I took away this skill from LDR class and the theory workshops.

Overall, I am so happy I took this class and I can’t wait to apply everything I learned more and more throughout my next three years of college!

 

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Leadership Development · Leadership Training

Mentor Reflection

A part of the Leader Advancement Scholarship protocol is that all sophomore LAS scholars have the amazing opportunity to become a mentor to a freshman LAS recipient. Going into my freshmen year, myself along with everyone in my cohort got a mentor. The purpose of mentors is to have someone as a resource, friend, and just someone to be there to answer questions, give advice, and to learn from one another at our first of four years or more at Central Michigan University. Given the opportunity to be a mentor is special, and I cannot express my excitement to be given the chance to mentor someone just like my own Mentor and G, mentored me throughout my freshman year.

My mentor, Marissa, had a clever idea to reveal herself to me with pizza. The big reveal was such a fun experience and it is so crazy to think that now it’s my turn to reveal myself to my mentee.

In our LDR 200L class, we went over an activity on how to be a good mentor and what ideas we had to bring to the table when we get our own mentees. We divided up in groups and were asked to write down our top10 things we wish we knew before coming to college or specifically Central Michigan. We all talked about what we wish we knew and it was fun but very good points were made. Then we talked about what kind of mentor we wanted to be for our mentees. Most of us wanted the same things, for example, being a friend, a shoulder to cry on, watching them grow, and just having someone to answer questions and being there. I realized that it is now my turn to step up and be a great role model/example for my mentee, while getting to know him/her and watch them grow and lead in their first year of college.

This workshop gave me so many ideas how to make my mentees first year one of their best. I want to be a good friend to my mentee and making sure that they have all the tools they need to succeed their freshman year. I will be reliable, and whenever they ask for advice, help, or just for anything in general, I will be their “go to” person. I want my mentee to realize that they got chosen to be a part of the Leadership Institute for a reason, and they are truly special. I want to have good conversations, being able to connect on a personal level, discovering what they are passionate about and how I can help them achieve there goals.

I’m determined to be the best mentor I can be. I want my mentee to know that they have the rest of my cohort as mentor’s as well. The whole Leadership Institute staff truly cares and are all mentors to the freshman. I am beyond excited for this mentorship program to finally start and can’t wait to see how unique and wonderful my mentee is.

Community · Leadership Development · Leadership Education · Leadership Training

LAS in the D Reflection

On February 10, 2017,  there were about 70 members of the Leadership Institute who all went to the city of Detroit. This trip was a requirement for my scholarship, but I know and saw the excitement on everyone’s faces attending this trip. Lives were impacted in ways that are indescribable and it was a trip that I will never forget.

We started off our weekend at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy where myself along with other LAS members led the students in Leadership initiative activities. I feel as if I took so much away from these students. They were so willing to participate and open up to stepping out of their comfort zones. With the few Leadership initiatives we got through 100%, I couldn’t help but recognize the excitement that was within each individual student. These students after talking with some, mentioned that they volunteered to stay after school to learn more about leadership. This was not required for any Jalen Rose student. As we went through the activities, they took time. The students gave full effort with only positivity filling the room. Even when the challenges were difficult, they never gave up and knew that working together and bringing each other up would be the best motivation to accomplish the tasks.

I had the opportunity to talk with some of the students in my group after our time was up at the high school. One student asked, “How do you define leadership?”. This made me so happy that the students, actually care about leadership and know that it is important. I responded to her and said that there is not just one leadership style. Everyone interprets leadership from different points of view. Some people like to talk while others like to sit back, watch, and evaluate. For myself personally, I told her to discover her “why”. Even though I recently just discovered mine, it makes it so much easier for me to explain what I think leadership is all about and what my purpose related to leadership is and why I do what I do. My “why” statement, “Inspire others to work together and strive for greatness, to maximize full potential” really went into play within the short few hours we were at Jalen Rose. I watched myself inspire students to work as a team and being positive the whole time, having them reach for their goals. The students accomplished that and reached the full potential. I felt as if I made an impact and I can’t wait for the many more opportunities for myself to help others reach their full potential.

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Next, after working with the students at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, we made our way towards downtown Detroit to have dinner at Quicken Loans. Driving downtown Detroit was nothing new to me. Growing up in the metro-Detroit area makes Detroit a city that isn’t too “new” for me, but what was new, was my reaction to downtown. The buildings are newer and taken care of for the most part. The new companies, businesses, and restaurants are trying to change the stigma that Detroit has. It is a city in progress but I believe places like Quicken Loans are building up the city. When we arrived at Quicken Loans we were taken to a new, modern styled conference room where they served us dinner and left us with tons of gifts. It was really nice having a CMU alumni, who was a recruiter at Quicken Loans, gave us a presentation on the many internships they offer as well as how great the opportunities they have are. Then, the Vice President of Quicken was took over the presentation, demonstrating why he decided to work for Quicken Loans by not just explaining what the daily job is. This was honestly touching. I got the “chills” after he spoke. Listening to how passionate about what he and his company were doing for Detroit was very moving and powerful. They are not just a mortgage company that I originally thought they were, they are helping Detroit move forward for the better.

After learning about the company, they took us on tours around their outstanding facilities. All of the buildings and offices so out of the ordinary and makes their company so unique. The values of Quicken Loans is focused around their “ISMS” or ideals of a genuine workplace. Just walking around their workplace, you can inquire that this company cares for its employees, customers, interns, or whoever even steps foot in their building.

After our time spent at Quicken Loans, my cohort and I attended the DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts). It was so amazing, especially from living close, I still have never been. For my first time ever, I felt connected to certain pieces of art. My favorite part there was looking at all the paintings. I never had an appreciation for art until after I left the DIA. The meanings and emotions behind every piece of art was incredible.

After the DIA, our cohort stopped for the night at the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center on Detroit’s Riverfront. The purpose of the center is to bring the outdoors to Detroit in a fun, learning manner along with new development for people who sow interests in a career with environmental sciences or other related fields. We also had the opportunity to huddle up with our small groups, debrief the day in general and talk about our passions and goals for our lives. I stepped out of my comfort zone and learned new things about myself that I plan on bringing to the table everyday of my life. I learned how others view me as a person and some of my fellow cohort members touched my heart, describing what an incredible person/leader that they believe I am. I became connected with people I haven’t gotten the opportunity to bond with much and I feel like I understand others better now, especially learning more about each others personal lives.

On the last day of our service trip, we attended the Cass Community Center. Cass does so much to help out the Detroit community; whether it be donating food or clothes, or hiring people who would be out on the streets without a job, they are truly making a difference. At the Cass Community Center, there were four groups of volunteers. There were the paper shredders, the kitchen staff, the floor mat makers, and the food/clothing organizers. It was really cool because my senior year in high school, I had the opportunity to be a matt maker. They used recycled tires throughout Detroit to create neat mats of all different colors, along with flip-flop sandals and key chains out of tire as well. This time was different. I helped organize the clothing donated to Cass. It was eye-opening because I always have donated clothes from home to Purple Heart, or other places that take donations, but I realized now why I did that and how I am helping. So many people are homeless or can’t afford food or clothing and just by getting rid of stuff I can’t use anymore to help someone in need is inspiring and up-lifting.

Overall this trip was one I will never forget. I learned more about myself and others, and I learned how I am actually incorporating my “why” statement into my everyday life . I know that after my cohort left this trip, we all felt as if one person can change Detroit, but it will take much time and effort, but so far, Detroit is coming a long way. I believe in this city and I am proud of what myself and my cohort did over this weekend. I know now for my future leadership stance, I am going to work hard, dedicate myself to my goals, understand and work with difficulties to maximize my full potential in the rest of my college years.

Leadership Training

Spark Leadership

Central Michigan University offers many leadership training programs that brings out so much from an individual: and that it was spark did for me. On Friday, January 20th, 60 students registered to attend this program. I along with a few other LAS recipients attended, I and truly believe it was such an inspirational, meaningful program. You can click here for more information on what SPARK is all about.

What I loved most about SPARK is that I found out my personal leadership style and I feel it fits correctly. I am a considerate leader and I learned all about what that means. There are four main leadership styles and they are being spirited, considerate, direct, and systematic.

The part I will take most away from SPARK is showing empathy more than sympathy. Empathy really shows that you are putting yourself in someone else’s shoes while sympathy is showing just pure sorrow or misfortune for someone. Saying that “oh I know what you are going through”, or “me too”, only takes away from the person and you are shifting the focus off that one individual and bringing it upon yourself. Instead, saying something to the effect of, “wow, I can’t imagine what you are going through, I’m glad you told me” or “let me know if you need anything, I am here” really can make all the worlds difference and I plan on fixing and switching from doing the first to doing the second, making others feel more important in that situation, as they should.

Leadership Training

Connections Conference

Over the weekend of November 4th and 5th, I traveled to Traverse City with my LAS cohort as well as other students at Central Michigan University to get connected at The Great Wolf Lodge. What I was honestly looking forward to the most was definitely going to the water park, but it was way more than just that. We got together with other members of other groups on campus such as Hall Councils and Residential Colleges, and shared our resources with one another about the organization we are a part of and learned how to advocate for groups and utilize all that CMU has to offer. There were so many leaders I got the privilege of meeting. This was another one of many leadership conferences I have been to, but this one was a little different.

I learned more than I thought I would over just the course of 2 days. We all got divided up into Sessions and had a facilitator. From there, we attended 3 separate speaker presentations. The thing I learned the most from the weekend was self identity. Forward thinking from now on, I know how to utilize myself and other people in my own leadership journey. I want to make a point to make things change or improve for the better. Any organization, club, or group you belong to always has room for improvement and from attending this conference, I know how to make that happen. All of the people who attended the conference really cared and just wanted to make a positive impact on each person there to inspire them and make them aware that they can all make a difference in the world. There is power and privilege that comes with stepping up to the plate. Everyone has some sort of aspiration for joining an organization so working as a team and challenging yourself is what is needed to make the world a more creative and motivated world. img_2401

Leadership Training

Leadership Safari

My very first week of being a Chippewa started earlier than usual. I was lucky enough to move in a week early before classes started to attend Leadership Safari. This program is meant to help all incoming freshman transition into the whole college atmosphere. Throughout Safari, I was a member of team python. There was a total of 11 of us in this group and I never knew the impact each person would make on me. My Safari guide leader named Cia is an upperclassman and her job was to guide each of us 10 freshman throughout the week.  We listened to many speakers, participated in icebreaker type activities, but one activity we did really changed my outlook on other people. We had to color an ice cream bowl based on how we view our selves, including gender, race, financial status, religion, etc. So at the end of this activity, not one member in my group had the exact same colored ice cream. Everyone is different but should be treated as equal. Some people go through many difficult paths in life and that is one thing some people tend to forget about or look past. Leadership Safari may have been one long, tiring, exhausting week, but it really made me think about how lucky I am as a person. There isn’t always social justice and I am just so blessed to have been born into a family where I don’t have to worry about getting a meal everyday or wondering where I am going to be the next day.

Leadership Safari made me realize that if I ever wanted to change or be a different person, now is the time. College is a fresh start for you and for your own personal self-care. People won’t know you from your past in high school and you are supposed to be exactly nothing but yourself. IMG_2044.JPGIMG_2046.JPG